Merkel's volunteer ambulance service will no longer be able to serve parts of Jones County.
Leaders at the volunteer service say it does not have the manpower or equipment to cover the southern parts of Jones County, a few miles outside of Merkel.
Jones County Judge Dale Spurgin says the areas affected will still have service, though there may be some slight changes. "(There may be) a little bit longer of a response time for residents who live down there, if they do have a medical emergency, it's at their (residents) discretion when making that call. Whatever they need , the corresponding agency is going to respond," Judge Spurgin told KTXS news. He explained in many cases, volunteer ambulance crews may have to get to the ambulance, before it heads out to the emergency call.
Judge Spurgin says neighboring ambulance services from Hamlin, Anson, and a private company in Abilene are expanding their coverage areas to fill the gap.
Some volunteer fire departments also have certified first responders.